USA-Portugal match breaks TV record for most-watched U.S. soccer match

USA-Portugal match breaks TV record for most-watched U.S. soccer match


USA-Portugal match breaks TV record for most-watched U.S. soccer match


U.S. Soccer World Cup Viewing Party - USMNT v Portugal Photo by


The U.S. Men’s National Team hasn’t made history for themselves yet during the 2014 World Cup, but they have made some television history.

The USA-Portugal game is now the most-watched U.S. soccer match ever with 18.22 million viewers watching Sunday as the Americans gave up a late lead to draw with Portugal on ESPN. The previous record was held by 1999 Women’s World Cup final when 17.97 million viewers watched as the U.S. won over China in penalty kicks on ABC.

Univision also posted its highest numbers for a U.S. soccer match with 6.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings, for a combined total of 24.7 million. That is equal to the viewership 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands.

Sunday’s USA-Portugal match earned the highest-ever overnight ratings for a World Cup match on ESPN, with about 1 in 11 American homes watching the game.

The match drew a 9.1 household rating, meaning about 9 percent of households were watching the game on ESPN. The highest-rated World Cup match on ESPN up until that point was USA-Ghana, which drew a 7.0 rating.

The NBA Finals earlier this month posted an average rating of 9.3 average and the Stanley Cup, also this month, rated a 2.8. The recent World Series rated an average 8.9 average.

The top ten metered markets in overnight ratings for the USA-Portugal match were: Washington, DC (13.3), Columbus, Ohio (12.6), New York (12.5), Boston (11.5), Hartford & New Haven (11.3), Providence (11.2), Atlanta (11.1), Baltimore (11.0), Norfolk (10.5), and Orlando (10.5).

ESPN’s highest-rated markets on average are: Washington DC (5.0), New York (4.3), San Francisco (4.1), Orlando (3.8), and Los Angeles (3.7).

Another 490,000 people streamed the broadcast via the WatchESPN app.

On social media, there were 20 million Facebook interactions about the USA-Portugal match from about 10 million people. The most discussed moment of the match came in the second half when Clint Dempsey’s goal gave the Americans a 2-1 lead.

ESPN will not be hosting a World Cup again anytime soon, though. Fox has secured the rights for the next World Cups through 2022, starting with the Women’s World Cup next year.

What do you think of this news? Think the World Cup will set a new record if the USA advances to the Round of 16?

Share your thoughts below.

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